Inaugural Cedars Dead Run to be held this fall

A spooky run is coming to Maple Valley this fall. A dead run, to be exact.

A spooky run is coming to Maple Valley this fall. A dead run, to be exact.

The event, Cedars Dead Run, is a collaboration between the Youth Council at the Greater Maple Valley Community Center and King County Parks.

Kristiane Byers, director of youth programs at the community center, said the function of the Youth Council is to plan different events for the community and the students wanted to plan a running event.

The Youth Council’s idea began as an ugly sweater themed run during the Christmas season, but the realities of ugly weather caused them to rethink that idea.

Resident Leia Duckworth has been a longtime runner and became a King County Parks Ambassador last year for Cedar Creek Park. Passionate about running and connecting to people in nature, she was looking for a way to have an event where families could come together and get outside.

“I was actually running one day and I was thinking that Maple Valley doesn’t have any events that are over three miles,” Duckworth said.

She said her desire to give back led her to a Maple Valley City Council meeting, where she spoke during a comment period about wanting to organize a run. From there, Councilwoman Victoria Jonas connected Duckworth with City Manager David Johnston who connected her to the community center and Byers. From there they were able to get the county on board and begin planning the details.

“The nice thing is she had the pieces to the puzzle that I needed and I have the pieces to the puzzle she needed,” Duckworth said of the partnership with Byers and the community center.

The event will include a 5K and 15K race on Oct. 18, coinciding with the opening day of the community center’s Nightmare on 248th Street haunted house. Participants are encouraged to dress up for the race — as anything that’s dead, Byers said.

The race won’t be officially timed this year, Byers added, and prizes will be given for best costume.

There’s a lot that goes into planning a race, Duckworth said.

Part of that, she said, is running the course, which she has been doing every day either in part or in full, to measure and average the distances to make sure the course is the right length.

“Planning a race takes a lot of being organized and a lot of emails and a lot of communication,” Duckworth said.

But, she added, she hopes that time will pay off and that the race can become an annual family friendly event in Maple Valley.

The event will serve as a fundraiser for youth programs at the community center and for King County Parks.

“I think the funding stuff that helps youth and teens at the community center is important,” Duckworth said. “I think teenagers need more things to do in the community.”

Byers said that they are currently finalizing the registration process and hope to have registration up and running by this weekend. She added that they will have a booth at the Maple Valley Farmers Market.

Duckworth is expecting between 200 and 300 runners this year and said she would consider 500 to be amazing for the inaugural event.

“I want it to be one that grows organically,” Duckworth said.



Registration and event information will be available at the community center website,